Movies Come and Go So Quickly...

...and some of them, I think, shouldn't have disappeared so fast.  I've been an avid movie goer for a very long time and a
professional writer for over 20 years but I didn't start writing about movies on a regular basis until May of 2004.  Naturally, there
are lots and lots of movies that I've seen and loved that I haven't written about.  Many of these films are what I consider to be
overlooked gems, movies that for whatever reason disappeared in my estimation too quickly before the public really had a chance
to assess them.  The advent of home viewing has changed that to a large degree but there are still movies out there that could
use a little extra push.  That's the purpose of this section of the KATM website - to shine a light on these terrific, overlooked
movies (and give you more titles for your Netflix cue to boot).  From time to time I'll add new entries to this list and write a few
thoughts on why I think the film in question is so great.  Naturally, everything here will be worth your attention!
Knight Light
I can’t remember what drew me to the theatre to see Big Eden when it came out in 2000.  But
something about the film’s description spoke to me and within the first half hour of the movie I
was deliriously happy.  It’s the story of Henry Hart (Arye Gross who was also memorable in a
supporting part in Bette Midler's
For the Boys), a gay man living in New York, just on the brink of
success as an artist after a long haul, who receives word that his beloved grandfather, the man
that raised him, has been stricken with a heart attack.  Though it’s soon before his big
opening, and against the pleas of his flustered agent (Veanne Cox – memorable in a smallish
role), Henry immediately flies back to tiny Big Eden, Montana where he grew up to help out.

Upon arrival at the bucolic, charming log cabin homestead where Henry grew up, the memories
flood back.  The gorgeous vistas surrounding the house overwhelm Henry with joy and with a
whoop and a holler, he jumps into the lake.  Soon, Henry is also plunged back into a
relationship that he thought he had left behind for good: an unrequited love for his high school
friend, the hunky Dean Stewart (Tim DeKay).  Dean has also just returned to Big Eden after a
divorce that has left him to raise two young sons and he, too, seems to have questions about
his next move in the romance department.  Perhaps Henry is the one he's come back to find.

We know that Henry has never gotten Dean out of his system and that he has hidden his gay
sexuality from his grandfather and the townspeople but it quickly dawns that unbeknown to
Henry, everyone – from Henry’s grandfather, to his sensitive and insightful aunt Grace (Louise
Fletcher), to the town gossip, the widow Thayer (a very funny Nan Martin) – are rooting for
Henry to come out and to find his soul mate at long last.

Whether that will be Dean or the shy, cultured gourmand Pike (Eric Schweig), who seems to
have an unrequited crush on Henry, or neither, is beautifully played out in writer-director
Thomas Bezucha’s assured, fairytale like movie.  Gross leads a group of actors that are
particularly fine under Bezucha’s sensitive direction.  
Big Eden, a sort of gay version of Sense &
, was the first movie from Bezucha (he went on to do The Family Stone, another
favorite of mine) and its sweetness and charm cannot be over emphasized.

The moment I left the theatre I began calling up friends, raving about this terrific romantic
comedy that I’d just seen.  I went back and saw it again a few days later.  But alas, the film
didn’t find an audience in theatres – though hopefully it has done so on
DVD.  It’s my all time
favorite gay themed film but I hasten to add that this miraculous little movie is for
audiences looking for a heart tugging story beautifully told in a spectacularly beautiful setting.
Big Eden's theatrical poster
(above) and the DVD box
cover.  The film also  
features a couple of
numbers sung by co-star
Louise Fletcher although a
soundtrack hasn't been
1. The Talented Mr. Ripley
2. The Joy Luck Club
3. Twilight
4. The Handmaid's Tale
5. Anna